Welcome to Lunyalita, the family run and independently owned business. Lunyalita is the little sister of Lunya, the multi award winning restaurant and deli in Liverpool and Manchester. Known to make food that is freshly prepared, served to customers in relaxed surroundings epitomises the Spanish food culture. The company prides itself on using good, local suppliers to ensure they support our local economy such as Ward’s of Birkenhead for their fish and Edge’s of New Ferry for their meat. The Sphinx visited Lunyalita recently, located on Royal Albert Dock, to taste their tapas menu.
Located along the Royal Albert Dock, next to The Beatles Story, Lunyalita is the perfect place to dine and enjoy the views of the dock. With an all glass interior, the restaurant provides a light and spacious environment for customers to relax in. Room for around 50 people to sit, the restaurant is small enough to feel intimate with a lively atmosphere but big enough to roam the place and feel comfortable. The overall feel of the restaurant was very authentic, especially as the deli was located in the back of the restaurant, it made it feel as if you were abroad. The atmosphere was very chilled as the music was mainly instrumental Spanish tracks, which made it all the more enjoyable as it created a relaxed environment.
The Starters and Drinks
To start, my friend and I ordered a mixed olive pot to share which was a tasty starter to begin our meal (£3.95). For drinks, I ordered the ‘Cava Sangria’ which contains cava, triple sec, cranberry and lime (£5.75 a glass or £17.50 1L jug). I’m not the biggest fan of original sangria (which is on the menu) so having this change in the recipe made it fruitier, sweeter and light. My friend ordered a medium glass of the ‘Martin Berdugo’ which is D.O. Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo, medium dry, strawberries and cream (£7.50 for a medium). This type of rose wine was sharp, rich and slightly sweet which is also suitable for vegans.
The staff were very accommodating to our dietary needs, they explained the menu to us and advised how to order our tapas. They suggested that tapas is for made for sharing and that 3-4 dishes per person would be the best amount for a standard meal size. The tapas comes as it is ready and will not always arrive together. This actually made quite a nice sequence in the flow of our meal, as every so often we were surprised with more dishes to complete our meal. Tapas is the perfect option if you are wanting to try different dishes, especially as you can mix and match from the meat, fish and vegetable sections. We thoroughly enjoyed tasting different elements to Lunyalita’s Spanish cuisine. We ordered eight different dishes, including the following:
1. Crispy Chicken – Lunyalita’s signature chicken strips (inspired by Albert Adria) coated in broken tortilla chips with their special seasoning and Catalan dip (£7.35). The coating was crunchy and tasteful which perfectly complimented the moistness of the mini chicken fillet.
2. Catalan Scouse – Lunyalita’s signature dish blending the best of Liverpool with Catalunya; made with chorizo and morcilla (£6.95). The texture of the scouse was thick, hearty and filling. The chorizo gave the added Spanish twist which made it a lighter dish rather than the meat used in usual scouse like beef.
3. Fried chorizo, honey and fennel seed – Chorizo pan fried in white wine with fennel seed drizzled with orange blossom honey (£6.45). By far my favourite dish of the meal, I never realised how good chorizo would taste with honey! It was incredibly sweet but was so delicious and perfectly bitesized.
4. Lomo – Cured pork loin (£7.50). The meat was thinly sliced, not too fatty and was a nice break from all the thick dishes such as the scouse and chicken, as it is light.
5. Calamari – Fresh calamari deep fried in Moritz beer batter (£7.45). The batter was light and crispy, and the calamari itself was fresh, well cooked and not too chewy.
6. Patatas Bravas – Chunks of cooked/roasted potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and allioli (£5.45). The potato was a nice texture and cooked well, while the tomato sauce had a kick to it, the cool allioli softened the spice.
7. Croquetas – The definitive tapas bar staple was incredibly appetising and served hot.
8. 5J Iberico Jamon de Bellota – from Spain’s best ham bodega, Cina Jotas ham is from the world famous acorn fed pigs (£19.95). This carved ham was incredibly rich with taste, mature, chewy and dark. Personally, I wouldn’t pay this much for just one of eight dishes, but the quality of the meat is out of this world.
Overall, all the dishes in our tapas feast was full of flavour, all dishes came hot, the sizes were perfect for sharing and made us both very full come the end of our meal. We almost felt inclined to drink Spanish wines and sangria’s to fit in with the theme of our meal, which made the experience even better as we were able to get the real taste of Spain from our incredible experience at Lunyalita. I would recommend the restaurant to anyone that loves Spanish cuisine, and even more so to those who haven’t ventured into this type of food before. Especially because the tapas option allows you to try new things and test out different flavours, textures and types of Spanish delicacies. The deli is the USP of the company as it allows customers to purchase once they’ve eaten or shop for general use as it offers a niche service compared to other restaurants. It adds to the authenticity of the environment and provides the customer with more options other than just a place to come and dine at.
Where to find Lunyalita:
22 Edward Pavilion
Next to The Beatles Story on the Royal Albert Dock.
How to contact Lunyalita:
0151 708 7334 / Website / Twitter: @lunyalita / Instagram: Lunyalita
Featured image: https://lunya.co.uk/lunyalita/